Bill proposes all restaurants, bars recycle cans and bottles

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Bar and restaurant owners may be forced to have a recycling plan in place, if they want their alcohol license renewed. The proposed bill is currently moving through the state Senate.

As customers pour into to Crave Kitchen and Cocktails in Mount Pleasant, owner Chris Dolan says his bar will go through plenty of bottles of beer, wine, or liquor.

"I think we'd probably average at least two trash cans minimum a night full of bottles and cans," Dolan said.

The restaurant owner is from New York, where recycling is a common place, and he 100 percent supports recycling. But before the proposal is something he'll give cheers, he has some reservations about the bill.

It says a recycling plan must be included in a permit application for a liquor license.

"That's the big puppet master thing to basically make everybody do what you want. If you don't have your liquor license, you're not going to make a lot of money so you're going to comply, but I'd like to do it more on a respectful base, like I respect my community, the environment, I have a clean established restaurant. If it's about a department of health thing, I think it should be a little more interlocked with that than my liquor license," Dolan said.

Another concern about the proposed law is the added cost to recycle. Right now here at Crave they've got a dumpster for trash and a dumpster for cardboard, and the owner wants to know if he'll also be saddled with the cost to recycle these bottles and cans.

"I personally don't think it should fall back on business owners' shoulders to have to pay for this program," Dolan said.

The proposal says a business could face fines if they don't include a recycling plan in their alcohol permit application and even more fines if they don't comply with the recycling plan. Right now the proposal is waiting to be discussed by a Senate subcommittee. A similar bill has been proposed by House lawmakers.

The change, if approved, would make South Carolina the second state in the nation to require a recycling program.  North Carolina law implemented a similar law in 2007.

©2011 WCSC. All rights reserved.